June 25, 2022
Fifa World Cup 2018 Football News

Bhaichung Bhutia, I.M. Vijayan questions “Indian Football culture”

Bhaichung Bhutia, I.M. Vijayan questions "Indian Football culture"

As world gears for the FIFA World cup 2018, India’s dream of representing the country in football’s biggest extravaganza still remain a dream. India has come a long way from being ranked 173rd in the world to be in the top 100, however, India’s legendary footballers Bhaichung Bhutia and I M Vijayan believe that the scenario is unlikely to change anytime soon with unconnected lack of “football culture” in the country.

Also read: op 5 Indian football players who played for a foreign club.

“I think that will remain so till we have a strong sporting culture, a strong football culture,” Former captain Bhaichung Bhutia told PTI as reported by Times Of India.

India has been clinical in recent past, registering 15 wins out of 17 played match.

“It’s obviously great that we have done well in recent times, but if you talk of World Cup, then it’s a different thing,” Bhutia said, repeating, “building a football culture is paramount”.

“There is no dearth of talent, the infrastructure is much better now, and youth development schemes are being initiated. But culture is one thing that is still missing,” the ‘Sikkimese Sniper’ added.

Indian great I.M. Vijayan also feels there is lack of football culture in the country.

“That is there, I agree. I think our clubs and associations must look forward to tying up with top clubs from overseas, and when I say tie-up it’s not just for the heck of it, I mean serious tie-ups.

“For example, the Barcelona academy will do a world of good to our budding footballers,” Vijayan said.

Vijayan believes India is full of young talents but the transition should be done in the best possible way.

“We were discussing that when we put the Indian age-group kids among the ones from other football countries, you will not be able to differentiate the Indians and the ones from elsewhere.

“As the players grow, it is important that the transition into the senior team happens in the best possible way,” Vijayan said.

“Now, if one talks about World Cup qualification, it is obviously difficult at this point to say when we would be able to play, but really hope that we are there, if not in 10, then in 20-25 years’ time at least.”

Stressing on youth development, Vijayan said it’s important to “catch them young”.

“Scouting has to start early, as early as eight-nine years. Select the ones who show promise and keep them together for long enough. There are no two ways about it – having sound grassroots programmes is a must to revive our fortunes.

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